Warren Buffett likely took a $6 billion hit on just 4 stocks during Monday’s painful sell-off

warren buffett
Warren Buffett.

  • Warren Buffett probably took a $6-billion hit on four stocks during Monday’s sell-off.
  • The investor’s Apple, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and American Express stakes fell in value.
  • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has made over $150 billion in total gains on those positions.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett likely suffered a $6 billion blow to his stock portfolio on Monday, as four of his biggest holdings slumped in value during the painful market sell-off.

The investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate counts Apple, Bank of America, American Express, and Coca-Cola among its largest positions. Those four stocks fell between 1% and 4% on Monday, wiping about $5.9 billion off the combined value of Buffett’s stakes in those companies.

Berkshire boasted 887 million Apple shares at the last count. Assuming he hasn’t touched that holding, it slid in value by $3.5 billion on Monday. The conglomerate also took a $1 billion hit on Bank of America, a $2.7 billion hit on Coca-Cola, and a $1.1 billion hit on American Express.

Buffett won’t be too bothered, as he famously focuses on long-term performance, and has already made a fortune on those stocks. For example, Berkshire spent $36 billion to build an Apple stake worth $126 billion today, more than tripling its money on paper.

The investor’s company also spent $1.3 billion for Coca-Cola stock worth $22 billion today – a roughly 17-fold gain. Moreover, its $25 billion stake in American Express has a cost base of $1.3 billion, and it spent about $15 billion to amass a Bank of America position worth $37 billion today.

Overall, Buffett’s total unrealized gains on those four stocks exceed $150 billion – more than the market capitalizations of Starbucks ($136 billion), IBM ($123 billion), or Goldman Sachs ($120 billion).

Buffett concentrates his money in a few key investments instead of spreading it across hundreds of them, boosting his returns when his bets pay off, but also exposing him to sharper declines. Apple has made up 45% of the total value of Berkshire’s stock portfolio in recent weeks, and the conglomerate’s top five holdings have accounted for 75%.

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Coca-Cola is changing the recipe for Coke Zero, and it’s giving people flashbacks to the ‘New Coke’ blunder of the ’80s

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Outside a Walgreens, Karen Wilson gathers signatures on a petition to the Coca-Cola Company expressing dissatisfaction with its "New Coke" formula in 1985.
Outside a Walgreens, Karen Wilson gathers signatures on a petition to the Coca-Cola Company expressing dissatisfaction with its “New Coke” formula in 1985.

Coca-Cola just announced changes to its Coke Zero recipe – and fans of the brand are having flashbacks to the last time Coke changed its flavor.

In 1985, the company introduced New Coke, an updated recipe that marked the company’s first formula change in 99 years.

Coke-drinkers were shocked that the beverage company would change its classic formula. One went as far as to tell The Washington Post that fans of the soft drink could “worry that maybe the whole country is beginning to fall apart. They don’t even trust themselves anymore.”

Now, consumers aren’t quite as outraged as they were more than three decades ago over New Coke, but social media was quick to remind Coca-Cola of its former recipe change disaster.

“Do we have to do New Coke 2.0? Coke Zero is my lifeline. Please don’t mess it up,” tweeted an art director from Charlotte. “Coke Zero is just about the only soda I drink these days, this makes me nervous… I sincerely hope you didn’t ‘1985 New Coke’ it!” another user wrote.

This is not the first time Coke Zero has undergone a rebrand. In 2017, the company tweaked the sugarless recipe to taste more like a regular coke – leaving customers with mixed reviews.

Now, the newest update “optimizes existing Coca‑Cola Zero Sugar flavors and existing ingredients,” according to the company, a change from past recipe changes like the 1985 fiasco is that Coca-Cola that used different ingredients.

“Recognizing that tastes and preferences are always evolving, we’re focused on continuous improvement to give fans the best-tasting Coca-Cola they want,” said Rafael Prandini, a Coca-Cola trademark lead. In a company statement, Prandini said consumers had positive reactions to taste tests of the new Coke Zero.

Some social media users said the new soda has been available in countries like the UK and Argentina for months now, and that they barely noticed a difference in flavor. Others said it tastes flatter and more syrupy than the original.

“I feel duped. I feel like I’ve been lied to,” Charlie Fleming, a popular UK YouTuber, said after trying the refreshed recipe. “If you see the new one, they taste exactly the same. They’ve changed nothing.”

The refreshed Coke Zero will be available throughout the US and Canada starting this August, with full distribution completed in September.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From Tesla to Workhorse, here are the 50 most popular stocks among retail investors on Robinhood

GettyImages 1291817095
Robinhood is hugely popular among day traders, putting it at the center of the GameStop frenzy

Robinhood has been the poster child of the commission-free trading movement that has drawn a new generation of investors into the stock market, and its user base skews heavily to Millennial and Gen Z investors. From iconic companies like Apple, to upstarts looking to disrupt whole industries, here are the top 50 stock picks among Robinhood users.

50. Workhorse

Workhorse Truck
Workhorse

Workhorse, the Loveland, Ohio-based electric-vehicle maker, has become a retail favorite among other auto manufacturers, like Lordstown Motors and Canoo.

49. Boeing

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Shares of the plane-maker have rallied more than 12% so far this year.

48. Zynga

Zynga Peak
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The mobile-gaming company sees more than $1 billion in sales opportunity if it expands beyond mobile games to consoles and computers, Bloomberg reported.

47. Uber

Uber
Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company have been barely changed so far this year.

46. United Airlines

Flying United Airlines during pandemic
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The airline slumped amid the COVID-19 pandemic but has turned around as air travel picks back up.

45. SPDR S&P 500 ETF

A number of value stocks have been surging on the S&P 500 in 2021.
Kena Betancur/VIEWpress

The ETF tracking the benchmark index has risen about 15% so far this year.

44. NVIDIA

nvidia impressive ceos 2x1
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia. Nvidia; Skye Gould/Insider

The chip and graphics card producer has rallied more than 50% year-to-date.

43. General Motors

General Motors headquarters Detroit
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The automaker is among a slew of others in the industry that retail traders have rallied behind.

42. Coca-Cola

Coca-cola billboard
Peter Macdiarmid/Reuters

Shares of the Atlanta-based beverage company have rebounded from a slump earlier this year.

41. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF

Vanguard vs Fidelity
MoMo Productions

The exchange-traded fund has rallied 14% so far this year.

40. Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Prima cruise ship
Norwegian Cruise Line

The cruise industry was hit hard amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but shares of cruise operators are on the rebound as the world reopens.

39. Ideanomics

GettyImages 539998802
P. Steeger/Getty Images

Ideanomics, a small company focused on sustainability, has rallied alongside other meme stocks like GameStop this year.

38. Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

The space tourism company has been a focus among Reddit retail traders for months. Shares soared in May after the company announced its successful test flight.

37. FuelCell Energy

fuel cell
REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

The Danbury, Connecticut-based company creates “clean, efficient and affordable fuel cell solutions,” according to its website.

36. AT&T

AT&T
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The media and telecommunications company based in Dallas is among retail-trader favorites on Robinhood.

35. Moderna

woman getting vaccine
A physician injects someone with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Moderna shares have rallied in recent days since the pharmaceutical company announced its COVID-19 vaccine should work against the Delta variant.

34. Starbucks

A Starbucks barista makes coffee in Florida.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The popular Seattle-based coffee maker recently added oat milk-based drinks to its menu.

33. Twitter

Twitter logo over computer
NurPhoto/Getty Images

The social-media site has been a hub for retail traders exchanging ideas this year.

32. Advanced Micro Devices

austin amd
Jack Plunkett/AP

Advanced Micro Devices, a semiconductor company, is frequently mentioned on Reddit investing threads like Wall Street Bets.

31. Canopy Growth

canopy growth
REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The Canadian cannabis company is one of a handful of its kind that are among retail-trader favorites.

30. Facebook

facebook logo
Getty

The social media behemoth is now worth more than $1 trillion after a federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits against the company.

29. Tilray

Tilray marijuana
Tilray

The Canadian cannabis company has seen a lot of Reddit hype as retail investors look to position themselves for the possibility of legalization in the US.

28. Coinbase Global

The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency
INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Coinbase was the first major cryptocurrency exchange to go public on April 14.

27. Bank of America

BofA logo
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank have rallied about 36% so far this year.

26. OrganiGram

weed thc marijuana cbd cannabis
Olena Ruban/Getty Images

The Canadian cannabis company is one of several retail traders have hyped up.

25. Alibaba

alibaba jack ma NYSE
Alibaba went public on the NYSE in 2014. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Shares of the Chinese e-commerce company have fallen about 2.6% this year.

24. Netflix

netflix
Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

The streaming site recently launched an e-commerce store to sell items from popular shows like “The Witcher.”

23. Snap Inc.

Snapchat messaging application.JPG
REUTERS/Thomas White

Shares of the social site have rallied about 35% so far this year.

22. Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines Airbus A320
A Delta Air Lines Airbus A320. Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com

The airline is among several others that struggled during the pandemic but has begun to rebound.

21. Churchill Capital Corp IV

money
Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images

Shares of the special-purpose acquisition company have nearly tripled in price since going public earlier this year.

20. Palantir

Alex Karp - CEO of Palantir Alex Karp speaks to the press as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the "Tech for Good" summit, in Paris, France, on May 23, 2018.
Palantir CEO Alex Karp. Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Palantir CEO Alex Karp said the surveillance company is a favorite stock pick because the company respects the intelligence of the retail-trading community.

19. GoPro

GoPro Inc's founder and CEO Nick Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc's IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City, June 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar
GoPro Inc’s founder and CEO Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City. Thomson Reuters

The maker of wearable cameras has rallied 38% so far this year.

18. Zomedica

veterinarian
Westend61/Getty Images

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company is focused on helping meet the needs of veterinarians, according to its website.

17. GameStop

gamestop store
John Minchillo/AP

GameStop was recently added to the Russell 1000 Index, a list of the largest companies based on market capitalization, thanks to its epic rally pushed by retail investors.

16. Carnival

carnival cruise
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The cruise line industry shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but operators like Carnival are making a comeback as the pandemic recedes.

15. Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis
Alberta Cannabis Inc/Handout via REUTERS

Aurora is another Canadia cannabis company that retail traders have flocked to amid excitement over potential legalization in the US.

14. Pfizer

pfizer vaccine us
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The pharmaceutical company has surged in popularity, largely thanks to the production of its COVID-19 vaccine.

13. Nokia

FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo
Reuters

Nokia has been looped into the basket of meme-stocks, like GameStop and AMC, that have gripped retail-traders attention this year.

12. Plug Power

Saudi Aramco hydrogen fueling station
Photo by Wang Haizhou/Xinhua via Getty Images

Plug Power, based in Latham, New York, is focused on creating hydrogen fuel cells to power vehicles.

11. American Airlines

American Airlines tails
American Airlines’ planes parked at a gate in Washington. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline has rallied about 35% year-to-date.

10. Amazon

amazon warehouse truck shipping
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The e-commerce giant is among the biggest companies in the world with a $1.7 trillion market capitalization.

9. Microsoft

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Sean Gallup: Getty Images

Microsoft is among the largest companies in the world with a $2 trillion market capitalization.

8. Disney

Disney World
The Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, Florida. Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the media and entertainment conglomerate have dropped about 3% so far this year.

7. NIO

Nio
STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese electric-vehicle maker has rallied more than 600% in the past year.

6. General Electric

GE.
General Electric reports strong earnings. Hussein Faleh/Getty Images

Shares of the long-time company have been on the rise this year, rallying about 25%.

5. Ford

Biden Ford
President Joe Biden drives the new electric Ford F-150 lightning at the Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan on May 18, 2021. Nicholas Kamm/Associated Press

The legacy automaker garnered attention earlier this year when President Joe Biden floored one of its electric trucks.

4. Sundial Growers

Marijuana Cannabis
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Sundial, among other Canadian cannabis companies, is a favorite among retail traders.

3. AMC Entertainment

AMC stock
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AMC Entertainment became a retail-trader favorite earlier this year, and led a rally in memes last month amid renewed interest in meme stocks.

2. Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The iPhone maker is the most valuable company in the world with a market cap of more than $2 trillion.

1. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has captured retail-trader attention in both his company and in the realm of cryptocurrencies.

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Coca-Cola lost $4 billion in market value after soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo suggested people drink water instead

Cristiano Ronaldo snubs Coca-Cola drinks and holds up a bottle of water at Euro 2020.
Cristiano Ronaldo snubs Coca-Cola drinks and holds up a bottle of water at a Euro 2020 press conference on Monday.

  • Coca-Cola’s market value dropped by $4 billion on Monday after Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed its drinks.
  • The Portugal captain shifted two bottles of Coke away from him at a Euro 2020 press conference.
  • He held up a bottle of water and appeared to indicate he preferred it to the soft drink.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture at a Euro 2020 press conference on Monday wiped $4 billion off Coca-Cola’s market value.

Ronaldo, sat beside Portugal manager Fernando Santos ahead of his team’s match against Hungary, irritably set aside two bottles of Coke, then picked up a bottle of water and said, “Água!” – the Portuguese word for water.

Coca-Cola’s shares, which had opened at about $56.17, had fallen by 1.6%, to $55.22, by the end of the press conference. Its market value dropped by $4 billion, to $238 billion from $242 billion. The soft-drink manufacturer’s shares continued to slide on Tuesday, falling by 0.3%.

Coca Cola stock price after Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed the drink
Coca-Cola’s stock price dropped on Monday after Ronaldo snubbed the company’s beverages.

The company’s decline in market value was an outlier compared to the entire S&P 500, which rose 0.4% on Monday. The broad-based stock market index is up 13% so far this year, compared to Coca-Cola’s 0.6% rise in 2021.

Shares in one of the largest bottlers of the drink, Coca-Cola Bottling, fell by 4% on Monday. It’s down by 8% in the past week.

Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, reportedly said in a statement that “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” and has differing “tastes and needs.”

A Euro 2020 spokesperson said: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conference.”

Ronaldo has previously expressed disapproval of Coca-Cola and other unhealthy foods and beverages. His fitness routine is said to involve eating six meals and taking five naps in a typical day.

He has said he gets irritated with his son Cristiano Jr., who likes to drink the soda.

Read more: Growth-fund manager Gerry Sparrow has beaten 96% of his peers over the past 5 years. He shares 6 stocks he thinks have undeservingly suffered from the rotation out of growth this year – and says they have an average upside of 50%.

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Coca-Cola lost $4 billion in market value after soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo suggested people should drink water instead

Cristiano Ronaldo hates Coca-Cola
  • Coca-Cola’s market value dropped sharply after Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed the drink at a media event.
  • The Portugal captain shifted two bottles of Coke away from him at a Euro 2020 press conference in Budapest.
  • He then held up a bottle of water and appeared to indicate he preferred it to the soft drink.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

All-time soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s gesture at a Euro 2020 press conference wiped $4 billion off Coca-Cola‘s market value on Monday.

Ronaldo, sat beside Portugal manager Fernando Santos ahead of his team’s match against Hungary, irritably set aside two bottles of the soda drink placed before him. He then picked up a bottle of water and appeared to encourage drinking that instead by saying “Água!” – which is Portuguese for water.

Coca-Cola’s shares were trading around $56.17 when the market opened on Monday, but fell 1.6% to $55.22 by the end of the press conference. That led to a sharp drop in market value from $242 billion to $238 billion. The soft-drink manufacturer’s shares closed at $55.41 per share on Tuesday.

Coca Cola stock price after Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed the drink
Sharp drop in Coca-Cola’s stock price after Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed the beverage.

The stock price of one of the largest bottlers of the drink, Coca-Cola Bottling, fell 4% on Monday, and is down 8% in the past week.

Coca-Cola is one of the official sponsors of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament. The company reportedly issued a statement about the incident, saying “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences” and have differing “tastes and needs.”

A Euro 2020 spokesperson added: “Players are offered water, alongside Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, on arrival at our press conference.”

Ronaldo has previously spoken about his disapproval of Coca-Cola and other unhealthy food and beverages. He follows a fitness routine that includes eating six meals and taking five naps on a typical day.

In 2020, he said he gets irritated with his son Cristiano Jr. who likes to drink the soda.

Read More: Deirdre Dunn started her career winning a hamburger-eating contest on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs. Now she’s one of Wall Street’s star traders at Citigroup.

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Coca-Cola vending machines have been removed from a North Carolina county’s offices over its CEO’s stance on a Georgia voting law. It follows conservatives’ previous calls to boycott the company.

Coca-Cola Logo on Wall Street
Coco-Cola’s logo on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • A North Carolina county banned Coca-Cola vending machines in the wake of the Georgia voting law.
  • Surry County officials voted to remove them after Coca-Cola’s negative comments, NBC News reported.
  • The Georgia law “is unacceptable, it is a step backward,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Officials in a North Carolina county removed Coca-Cola vending machines from their offices after the soda-maker’s chief executive spoke out against a voting law in Georgia

In a letter sent to Coca-Cola executives, a Surry County official said Coca-Cola’s comments on Georgia’s controversial voting law were a “disappointment,” NBC News reported.

“Our Board hopes that other organizations across the country are taking similar stances against Coca-Cola and sincerely wishes that future marketing efforts and comments emanating from your company are more considerate of all your customers’ viewpoints,” Eddie Harris, Surry County commissioner, wrote in a letter viewed by NBC’s “Today.”

Critics said the Georgia law, SB 202, “The Election Integrity Act of 2021,” added restrictions to the voting process that amounted to voter suppression. President Joe Biden in a statement in March said the law was “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.”

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey joined a handful of high-profile company executives in denouncing the law earlier this year, with many saying it restricted the right to vote. Coca-Cola is headquartered in Georgia.

“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward,” Quincey told CNBC in late March.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also commented on the law, saying it “ought to be easier than ever for every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote.”

The move by North Carolina officials followed a call from former President Donald Trump in April to boycott “woke” companies opposing the law.

Trump’s comments came after Major League Baseball relocated its All-Star game out of Georgia. He urged conservatives to “fight back” by boycotting Coca-Cola, Delta, JPMorgan Chase, and other companies that opposed the law.

NBC News reported on Friday that Surry County officials said Coca-Cola supported the “out-of-control cancel culture and bigoted leftist mob” that fought back against the law.

“We decided we wanted to push back against this woke cancel culture, push back against Coca-Cola, because they were one of the ones out front,” Harris told Fox News on Friday.

He said he’d received hundreds of emails in support of the ban, which he said could lead to a boycott of the company. He said local citizens supported the removal.

“They’re absolutely sick and tired of this outrageous left-wing mob that is attacking freedom of speech, attacking people’s jobs, that is completely out of control in this country,” Harris told Fox News.

In statements to Fox News and NBC News, Coca-Cola said its local staffers had reached out to county commissioners about the ban.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Warren Buffett commands a $270 billion stock portfolio – and 5 holdings make up 75% of its total value

warren buffett
Warren Buffett

  • Warren Buffett has a $270 billion stock portfolio, and five stocks make up 75% of its value.
  • Berkshire Hathaway disclosed $203 billion of Apple, Bank of America, and three other stocks.
  • Buffett concentrated his portfolio last quarter by slashing and exiting several holdings.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Warren Buffett’s stock portfolio was worth $270 billion at the last count, making it more valuable than Exxon Mobil or Comcast. Around $203 billion, or 75% of that figure, was parked in just five stocks.

The investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owned $108 billion of Apple stock as of March 31, regulatory filings show. That single holding accounted for 40% of the total value of its portfolio.

Berkshire’s increased stake in Bank of America was worth $39 billion, or 14% of the portfolio. The next-biggest holding was American Express ($21 billion or 7.9% of the total), followed by Coca-Cola ($21 billion or 7.8%) and Kraft Heinz ($13 billion or 4.8%).

“Wow is that concentrated,” Paul Lountzis, a longtime Berkshire shareholder and the president of Lountzis Asset Management, told Insider. “But that has always been his way.”

Indeed, Buffett has repeatedly trumpeted the power of a concentrated portfolio, and warned investors against spreading their bets too much.

“Diversification is a protection against ignorance,” he said at Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in 1996. “It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.”

Buffett added that if someone can analyze and value businesses, it would be “madness” for them to own scores of stocks and put money into their 35th-favorite business instead of their top pick. Diversifying to that extent would most likely hurt their results and increase their risks, he cautioned in his 1993 shareholder letter.

Berkshire’s top five holdings accounted for 74% of its portfolio’s total value at the end of December. That proportion climbed to 75% last quarter after the company slashed its Wells Fargo and Chevron stakes, trimmed its pharmaceutical and financial bets, and exited a couple of positions.

Buffett might concentrate his portfolio even more in the coming months. “He is going back to making very large commitments to stocks he likes the most,” Lountzis told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Media M&A chatter is growing after WarnerMedia and Discovery’s merger

Hi and welcome to Insider Advertising for May 20. I’m senior advertising reporter Lauren Johnson, and here’s what’s going on:

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here for your daily insider’s guide to advertising and media.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Drop me a line at LJohnson@insider.com or on Twitter at @LaurenJohnson.


WarnerMedia Stankey
AT&T CEO John Stankey

WarnerMedia and Discovery’s merger is reigniting media M&A chatter. These are the potential deals that could rock the industry this year.

Read the story.


Lachlan Murdoch
Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Fox Corp., attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 11, 2019.

2 years after being named CEO of Fox, Lachlan Murdoch is pulling all-nighters to prove he is a worthy successor of his father

Read the story.


coca cola scale back brands 2x1

Coca-Cola’s experiment to acquire and build out its non-soda offerings killed more brands than it launched. Now it’s gone from a staff of hundreds to just a few people as the new CEO winds it down.

Read the story.


Other stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow! You can reach me in the meantime at LJohnson@insider.com and subscribe to this daily email here.

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I ate like Warren Buffett for a week – and it was miserable

warren buffett cherry coke
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors in history.

He also has a really weird diet.

Buffett’s diet of sugary soda, junk food, and limited vegetables has reached legendary status.

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO drinks about five cans of Coca-Cola products a day, constantly munches on See’s Candies, and pours so much salt on his food that John Stumpf, the former Wells Fargo CEO, said watching Buffett dole it out was like a “snowstorm.”

Business Insider has tried various people’s diets – from Elon Musk‘s to Tom Brady‘s – so back in 2017 I decided to take on Buffett’s strange food tastes for one workweek to see what it was like.

There were some basic ground rules – eat three meals a day, don’t drink alcohol, and avoid vegetables.

Overall, I just tried to maintain the general attitude by which the man himself defines his diet.

“I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds, so I decided to eat like a 6-year-old,” Buffett told Fortune. “It’s the safest course I can take.”

The cornerstone of the Buffett diet: Cherry Coke.

Buffett diet 1 (correct size)

In 2015, Buffett told Fortune he was “one-quarter Coca-Cola.”

Buffett said he favored either Diet Coke or Cherry Coke and had at least five cans of the soda a day.

I decided to opt for exclusively Cherry Coke throughout the week, as I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of plain Coke. I am, however, a fan of cherry and cherry-adjacent soda products like Dr. Pepper and Cheerwine (it’s a North Carolina thing — Google it).

I also couldn’t purchase cans of the stuff at my local grocery store, but a two-liter works out to 5.6 cans a day, within the ballpark of Buffett’s consumption. Thus, I decided to go with one of these each day.

If you’re wondering, that works out to 252 grams, or 0.56 pounds, of sugar a day from the Cherry Coke alone. That’s right — I got 84% of my recommended daily carbohydrate intake from just the sugar in the Cherry Coke.

I didn’t initially do the math on the sugar content of the Cherry Coke, believing it was better to go into the week with a bit of blissful ignorance. While I had assumed it would be rough consuming all of the syrupy-sweet drink, I couldn’t anticipate the full devastation the Coke would have on my mood.

On the first breakfast of the week, I was nervous but had a supply of foolish confidence in my ability to handle what was ahead.

Buffett diet 2 (resize)

In the HBO documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett,” the legendary investor said his breakfast each day came from McDonald’s and was dictated by the stock market.

Typically, Buffett gets breakfast once the market is open. If stocks are up, he gets a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. If they’re down, he opts for a cheaper breakfast of two sausage patties. If the market is flat, as it was Monday morning before the open, he goes for the sausage McMuffin.

I get to work around 7:30 a.m. ET every day, meaning I had to base my McDonald’s selection on the premarket futures, which tend to be a bit harder to gauge. Regardless, I decided to try to factor in a bit of qualitative analysis based on the overseas markets and the previous day’s close (and, by the end of the week, what I could tolerate).

The first breakfast wasn’t too challenging. The biggest issue was the lack of coffee, as Buffett doesn’t drink the stuff.

I decided to front-load the Cherry Coke to get the caffeine I usually got from my coffee while also preventing myself from drinking soda well into the night.

Additionally, I’d decided to keep track of my weight each morning and night. For the calorie counts, the Cherry Coke totals are added to the count at dinner, since they were dispersed throughout the day.

Breakfast, Day 1: McDonald’s sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin; Cherry Coke

Breakfast calories: 470

Monday-morning weight: 168.4 pounds

The Cherry Coke hit me like a ton of bricks.

Buffett diet 3 (resize)

I don’t drink much soda — I drink mostly water and coffee at work — so the sudden increase in the amount of corn syrup in my diet made me feel incredibly sluggish. Plus, the sugar high was so off the charts that I almost felt the tingle of the carbonation in my fingers as I was typing.

Then again, I also put down half of the two-liter before 11 a.m. in an attempt to front-load the caffeine.

My inner child was excited to have ice cream in the middle of the day. The chili-cheese dog excited me less.

Buffett diet 4 (resize)

The bun on the Dairy Queen dog was spongy, but not like an angel food cake — like an actual kitchen sponge. The hot dog tasted very salty.

The sundae was delightful. Buffett says he typically gets cherry syrup on his DQ sundaes, which was not an option at my Manhattan location. I did get his preferred chopped nuts on top.

I was feeling pretty weighed down at this point. I don’t have a big lunch most days — a salad at most — so the extra calories and copious sugar made me feel bloated.

Lunch, Day 1: Dairy Queen chili-cheese dog; strawberry sundae with chopped nuts; Cherry Coke

Lunch calories: 650

I cheated a bit on dinner for the evening, getting chicken parmigiana – which Buffett usually has as a side. (!)

Buffett diet Monday dinner placeholder

By the evening I was feeling a bit better, possibly because I finished the coke around 2 p.m.

The big test was running. I typically try to run four to five miles a day after work, and I was dreading how I would feel. I imagined keeling over and puking into the East River.

To my surprise, it was fine. I was probably a step slower than normal, but I didn’t feel too awful.

Dinner was heavy — I couldn’t finish the whole serving — but at the end of Day 1, I was doing half decent.

Dinner, Day 1: Chicken parmigiana with penne from Famous Calabria Pizza

Dinner calories: about 1,500

Total daily calories: 3,520

Monday-evening weight: 171.2 pounds

The second day started much better.

Buffett diet 5 (resize)

I lost sleep on Sunday night worrying about the challenge ahead, but after feeling decent at the end of the day, I got a good night’s sleep.

Stock futures were up on Tuesday, so I decided it would be fair to get a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Coming from the South, I preferred this option over the semi-soggy McMuffin from the day before, and I felt confident as I tucked into breakfast and the second giant bottle of Cherry Coke.

Breakfast, Day 2: McDonald’s bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit; Cherry Coke

Breakfast calories: 450

Tuesday-morning weight: 170.4 pounds

For lunch, I went for a burger – another Buffett favorite.

Buffett diet 7

Now, many of my coworkers said I cheated by going with Shake Shack instead of some local restaurant, but you know what? I was the one suffering, and I deserved a slight luxury.

Another signature Buffett trait is an excess of salt, as John Stumpf, the former Wells Fargo CEO, once described.

“When the food comes, Warren grabs a salt shaker in his left hand and one in his right, and it’s a snowstorm,” Stumpf told Bloomberg in 2014.

So I threw a little extra sodium on the french fries before dipping them in the chocolate shake.

Lunch, Day 2: Shake Shack ShackBurger; french fries; chocolate milkshake; Cherry Coke

Lunch calories: 1,710

By Tuesday afternoon, I was … not feeling well.

Buffett diet Tuesday feeling

Dear God did I make a mistake.

Again, I attempted to front-load the Cherry Coke, and by 2 p.m. I was more than two-thirds of the way done with the two-liter. Not only that, but the heavy meal — especially the milkshake — was crushing my will to live.

I was jittery, grumpy, exhausted, unfocused, and downright distraught. The sugar from the Coke (roughly a half-pound a day) was causing surges and drop-offs in energy.

The increase in meat consumption was making me sweat more than usual (weirdly enough, from my kneecaps, of all places). The bloating was making my back hurt. I was a wreck after less than 48 hours.

Tuesday night might have been my low point, as evidenced by my sad dinner spread.

Buffett diet 8

In the middle of my run that evening, I texted a coworker expressing my dismay at my physical state. I was going noticeably slower than I had the day before, and I couldn’t make myself run faster. My legs simply wouldn’t move as I wanted.

Upon getting back to my apartment from the run, I was, as my notes say, “**WRECKED**” by stomach cramps. My roommate walked in as I was sitting on our couch doubled over and asked me whether I was sure I wanted to keep going.

I finally got myself together, and, unable to muster the strength to figure out a proper meal, I just made two hot dogs and ate some Utz chips — another brand Buffett loves.

I went to bed Tuesday night feeling much less enthused about the prospects for the rest of the week.

Dinner, Day 2: Two Hebrew National kosher hot dogs; Utz kettle chips; See’s Candies peanut brittle

Dinner calories: about 650

Total daily calories: 3,710

Tuesday-evening weight: 171 pounds

Another day, another bacon, egg, and cheese.

Buffett diet wednesday breakfast

Honestly, given the recent rise in the stock market, Buffett must be getting sick of these biscuits by now.

I decided to try to space out the Cokes more evenly to avoid the crashes. (Spoiler: It didn’t work.)

Breakfast, Day 3: McDonald’s bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit; Cherry Coke

Breakfast calories: 450

Wednesday-morning weight: 169.2 pounds

For lunch, I went back and found one of Buffett’s go-to lunch orders at Gorat’s, an Omaha, Nebraska, institution.

buffett diet wednesday lunch

I ordered an open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and Thousand Island dressing from Eisenberg’s, a local sandwich shop.

I was served a closed-faced, sliced turkey sandwich with bacon and Thousand Island dressing. I wasn’t going to split hairs, so I took it back to the office as it was.

The meal was finished off by fries and some Cherry Coke.

You may ask: “Bob, did you put extra salt on the fries like you said Buffett always does?”

My answer? Yes, I did. Hope you’re enjoying my suffering so far.

Lunch, Day 3: Turkey sandwich with bacon and Thousand Island dressing from Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop; french fries; Cherry Coke

Lunch calories: about 900

Dinner on Wednesday was veal parmigiana with an indulgence: a Hawaiian Punch. I can’t prove Buffett likes fruit punch, but, hey, it was my favorite when I was 6.

Buffett diet 6

I walked home on Wednesday and then went for a run.

I felt as if the sugar, syrup, and grease leaked from my belly to my legs. Children were passing me on the street during my walk home, and I’m usually a fast walker. Imagine having maple syrup in your joints and muscles — that’s what I felt like.

Dinner, Day 3: Veal parmigiana from Nonna’s LES Pizzeria; water

Dinner calories: 1,060

Total daily calories: 3,310

Wednesday-evening weight: 172.4 pounds

Futures were down, so I ordered two sausage patties for breakfast. But upon arriving at work, I realized the McDonald’s workers gave me only one.

buffett diet thursday breakfast

I’m still not sure whether the single patty was a good or a bad thing, but it did give me a bit of a break from heavy meals.

Also, it made me realize that McDonald’s sausage by itself is not very good. Who could’ve guessed?

Breakfast, Day 4: McDonald’s sausage patty; Cherry Coke

Breakfast calories: 174

Thursday-morning weight: 169.8 pounds

This may be the point to mention that I’ve done terrible things to my body before – and this was the worst.

bob bryan weight before and after
Left: me in April 2011, about 125 pounds. Right: me in April 2014, about 205 pounds.

I’m no stranger to massive dietary changes — I gained 80 pounds in college and then lost 45 pounds in three to four months after I graduated. (I overestimated my pay as an intern and underestimated NYC rents.)

That is to say: I’ve done some terrible things to my body via my diet before.

Even at my heaviest, I never felt this run-down. The weird thing though was that I was still hungry at every meal.

Maybe it was the chemicals from the processed food?

I was running out of idea at this point on Thursday, and honestly, I was busy with work, so I just gave up and got McDonald’s.

buffett diet thursday lunch

Fun fact: Buffett once used coupons to buy Bill Gates lunch at McDonald’s.

Oh, another reason this was such a terrible idea: I cover policy here at Business Insider, including healthcare and taxes — and, of course, I decided to try the Buffett diet on the week that Republicans again attempted to repeal Obamacare (no, the irony did not escape me) and rolled out their most detailed tax-reform framework yet.

This meant that amid my midafternoon sugar crash, I was typically forced to pull myself out of the fog and write something of substance.

To be fair to myself, I did write a considerable amount over the five days. You’d have to ask my editor Brett whether my diet hurt the quality of my writing, but I stand by everything I published.

Lunch, Day 4: McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese; french fries; Cherry Coke

Lunch calories: 870

Buffett once ordered a country- (or chicken-) fried steak with Jay-Z, so I had to get it for a meal.

Buffett dinner thursday dinner

I really like country-fried steak (see my previous comment about being from the South). This one was from Cowgirl in the West Village.

Buffett isn’t a big fan of broccoli, much less collard greens, so I did cheat a bit. But, c’mon, actual collard greens at a restaurant in the North? I had to try them.

Alas, they were bad.

I went with a coworker and couldn’t finish the steak and mashed potatoes — not to worry, salt was added in extreme amounts — prompting her to call me “weak.” I replied I would take the leftovers home and finish them later (we were eating fairly early), but I happened to “forget” the bag as I left.

In a surprise to probably no one, the gravy sat heavy in my stomach. Walking to the subway, I was happy there was only one day left, but I felt terrible.

Dinner, Day 4: Country-fried steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, and collard greens from Cowgirl; water

Dinner calories: 1,540

Total daily calories: 3,484

Thursday-evening weight: 172.4 pounds

Of course Buffett eats ice cream for breakfast. Of course I was the idiot who saved it for the last day.

buffett diet friday breakfast

Remember what I said about getting used to it? Not so much on Friday morning.

I have never enjoyed ice cream less. That’s really all I have to say about this meal.

Breakfast, Day 5: Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream; Cherry Coke

Breakfast calories: 870

Friday-morning weight: 170.4 pounds

What if Buffett just says he eats all of this food to make other people like me buy it and boost his investments’ sales?

buffett diet friday lunch

Buffett owns Dairy Queen and holds considerable stock in McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Sitting down for my final lunch, I realized I probably made the guy a lot of money that week.

The thought struck me mid-bite of an M&Ms Blizzard: I was a sucker.

Buffett is a self-mythologizer — a folk hero who presents himself as a kind grandfather but has made it in the vicious investment world. He’s a ball of contradictions and social oddities.

I couldn’t put it past him to deceive the few interviewers he trusts to cast the glow of the cult of Buffett.

On the other hand, surely people see him at these restaurants. He wouldn’t lie about his diet just to get a few suckers to boost his sales, would he?

Lunch, Day 5: Dairy Queen chili-cheese dog; french fries; M&M Blizzard; Cherry Coke

Lunch calories: 1,400

Here’s all the Cherry Coke I consumed during the week.

Buffett diet cherry cokes
Thanks to my former colleague Myles for giving me this Berkshire hat from the annual meeting in Omaha.

The sugar-and-caffeine crash came easier by Friday. I had learned how to manage the timing and frequency of the Coke intake to make sure I had a solid energy reserve all day.

But I still felt awful after I finished a bottle.

Here’s some fun math on the amount of Cherry Coke I consumed in the week:

Total amount: 338 fluid ounces, or 2.64 gallons.

Calories: 4,500.

Sugar: 1,260 grams, or 2.78 pounds.

Caffeine: 1,020 milligrams, or 204 a day. (An average cup of coffee, 8 fluid ounces, has 95 to 165 milligrams.)

For dinner, I went with a few coworkers to Smith & Wollensky, Buffett’s favorite New York City restaurant.

warren buffett plaque smith wollensky
The plaque at the restaurant bearing Buffett’s name.

Buffett comes here once a year for a dinner, at which a lucky bidder joins the Oracle of Omaha himself. In 2016, the meal went for $3.4 million. All the proceeds are given to charity.

I was joined by four of my coworkers to bask in the final meal of my epic run.

I contacted the restaurant earlier in the week to say what we would be there for, and the staffers did everything to make my experience as authentic as possible.

We sat in the private alcove where Buffett sits when he visits, with a full glass wall looking into the kitchen. There was a plaque with Buffett’s name on it and a letter from him framed on the wall.

I asked our waiter, Baci, who had served Buffett on his trip to NYC in August, to bring me what the man ate. This was a mistake.

buffett meal seafood

We started with something off-menu called the “seafood bouquet.” It featured lobster, shrimp, and lump crab meat. The seafood was divine — though it was chilled, and I typically enjoy seafood hot.

I began to feel a bit uneasy as I dined on the appetizer, thinking back to everything I had put down that week. I wanted to have an authentic meal at a favorite location of Buffett’s, but could I survive to the end?

Also, I must admit here that I broke the Buffett rules by having a bit of wine. But it was the end of the week, and can you really blame me?

Next, the steak: a 32-ounce Colorado rib-eye.

buffett meal steak
Go ahead, judge my utensil manner. Just remember my physical and emotional state.

In what can only be compared to the primitive tomahawk of a caveman, the mighty Colorado rib-eye emerged on a plate still sizzling. At that point, a glorious, freeing sense of debauchery overtook me, and I laid all of the terrible meals of the last week to the side.

The steak was a knockout.

For the first three-quarters of a pound, I consumed it with reckless abandon, ignoring the inevitable food hangover that was surely coming. The rib-eye was cooked to perfection and cut beautifully, and it contained just the right amount of fat.

When I hit the wall — and I hit it hard — there was an overriding sense of disappointment that I simply couldn’t finish the meal.

The final tallies for dinner were, in a word, monumental.

oh my god what did i just eat for a week buffett meal bob
“Oh my God, what have I done to myself?” Bob thought as he descended into a food-induced coma.

I wasn’t even drunk from the wine, but the meal knocked me out. I was struggling to form coherent thoughts as all the blood ran from my brain to my stomach, attempting to handle the influx of fat, protein, and sugar.

My coworkers and I ambled toward Grand Central Station, and I felt dazed. We decided against a post-dinner drink, and wandering off from the rest of the group, I felt unsure on my feet.

I huffed and puffed my way back to my apartment near Chinatown, sweating pure steak grease.

Upon making it back, I collapsed on the floor of my living room. I dozed off for a little over an hour, trying to pretend my stomach wasn’t bursting at the seams.

Dinner, Day 5: Seafood bouquet, 32-ounce Colorado rib-eye steak, hash browns, creamed spinach, and coconut cake from Smith & Wollensky; red wine; water

Dinner calories: 3,343

Total daily calories: 6,513

Friday-evening weight: 175.2 pounds

What did I learn?

week progress buffett diet
Me from Monday to Friday, reflecting my emotional state. If you look closely, you can see the happiness and joy for the world drain from my eyes.

Let’s get this out of the way: Don’t eat like Warren Buffett unless you are Warren Buffett.

The man himself says to be yourself instead of copying him. This applies not only to investing, but to dieting as well.

My experience was miserable, and I realized why I committed myself to eating healthy when I moved to New York. Being sluggish and moody during the day just isn’t fun.

It’s also a good lesson in recognizing limits. Buffett apparently has none; I very much do.

And, finally, I now understand Buffett’s investing strategy perfectly!

Just kidding.

I just have a few extra pounds to work off and a good story.

Average calories a day: 4,107.4

Total calories over five days: 20,537

Weight gain, Monday morning to Saturday morning: 2.4 pounds

Weight gain, Monday evening to Friday evening: 4 pounds

Read the original article on Business Insider

From toilet paper to diapers, here’s a slew of household staples that are about to get more expensive

Stockpiling toilet paper
  • Several companies including Procter & Gamble and General Mills have announced price hikes.
  • The goods affected include paper products and baby-care items.
  • The prices of Coke products and coffee are likely to increase as port delays pinch the supply chain.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Many household goods are getting more expensive as companies like Procter & Gamble and General Mills announce price hikes to combat shortages and rising shipping costs.

During its third-quarter earnings call this week, P&G said it had started raising the prices of some of its goods, including baby-care and feminine-care products and adult diapers from its brands such as Pampers, Tampax, and Always.

“The exact amount of the price increase will vary by brand and sub-brand in the range of mid-to-high single-digit percentages and will go into effect in mid-September,” P&G said in a statement.

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Some of P&G’s primary competitors, including Kimberly-Clark, have announced similar price increases. In March, Kimberly-Clark said it would increase the prices of top products like Scott toilet paper and Huggies diapers.

General Mills’ chief financial officer, Kofi Bruce, said during the company’s March earnings call that it was planning to increase its prices to offset rising commodity costs as its margins continued to fall. While the company did not specify what products would be affected, General Mills’ lineup of brands includes Cheerios, Chex, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury products.

On Monday, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC that the company was planning to hike its prices for the first time in over three years. Quincey did not specify the products that would be affected.

Quincey said Coca-Cola planned to implement the price hikes “intelligently, thinking through the way we use package sizes and really optimize the price points for consumers.”

Coffee prices are also set to skyrocket. Peet’s and J.M. Smucker, the brand behind Folgers and Dunkin’ coffee, have said they’re facing rising costs. Reuters reported that in February, port delays pushed coffee prices to their highest level in over a year.

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J.M. Smucker also increased the price of its Jif peanut-butter products in August.

Many of these companies said sales had continued to rise in the last quarter, even from the previous year, when some people were stockpiling products at the beginning of the pandemic. While an increase in demand can only be a positive for companies, demand is outstripping supply and driving up the price of some goods.

Consumer interest is rising as the products are getting increasingly difficult to obtain because of a shipping-container shortage and port congestion.

March data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index indicated that as vaccination rates increase, prices go up. Consumer prices increased in 2021 over last year at their highest rate in three years.

While there has been a large increase in the price of gasoline, the cost of food, rental cars, and hotels have also pushed higher.

For products from the brands of top companies like P&G, people are likely to see inflated prices at the grocery store as demand compounds on vaccine optimism and port congestion shows no sign of clearing.

Read the original article on Business Insider